Just more evidence that Alan Johnson has what it takes. Andrew Grice takes up the story, having attended a party to celebrate Frank Field’s 30 years as an MP. Field, responding to a toast, tells how the whips had attempted to disrupt his resignation speech by asking Labour MPs to leave at different times:
A sadness came over me looking at how people obeyed the whips. They sent a note to Alan Johnson, who had every right to expect great office in a Labour Government given the position he commanded in the trade union movement. And to my joy, he just tore up the note, put it in the box in front of him and sat still.
Johnson added to much laughter: "And swore."
He would be rather good. Just what is stopping Labour MPs?